House debates

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Constituency Statements

Riverside Equestrian Centre

10:51 am

Photo of Julian SimmondsJulian Simmonds (Ryan, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The Ryan electorate is home to some wonderful community-focused organisations, and I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Riverside Equestrian Centre in Moggill. I want to use this opportunity in this place to commend the efforts of Liz and Andrew White, the operators and founders of the Riverside Equestrian Centre. Both have battled health issues recently, but the strength they draw from sharing their love of horses with young people in our community has seen them persevere and ensure they continue their amazing work.

Located in a beautiful corner of the Ryan electorate, the centre boasts acres of riding area on the banks of Brisbane River. Mr and Mrs White purchased it as a blank canvas decades ago and since then have established many trees, riding trails and facilities on the property that the local community now enjoys. The centre has taught hundreds of local kids to ride over the decades, thanks especially to the passion of Mrs White. They offer group and private riding lessons for junior and senior riders.

From my visit, it was clear that Mrs White doesn't just have a passion for creating great riders; it is clear she's instilling in these young people compassion, thoughtfulness, honesty and a caring nature towards not only their horses but their fellow riders and each other. Aside from riding lessons, Riverside offers many different opportunities for riders to gain more experience and knowledge in all aspects of riding and equestrian life.

Liz White's passion for horses started from a very young age. She grew up on a remote family farm in northern New South Wales. In this remote bush setting, most of her schooling in post war rural Australia was by correspondence, and her main companions on the property were the horses. She has not just written but illustrated a beautiful book called Riding the magic horse, which I was privileged to receive a copy of on my visit. The book starts with an account of her childhood, where she learnt to understand and communicate with horses. It also shares her ideas and insights about training horses, which she has developed through a lifetime of riding and working. The training guide gives tips and tricks that can help riders at all levels discover the link between horse and rider. I commend the book to anyone in the electorate passionate about horses.

The centre is also offering young people the opportunity to undertake training to become horse and rider trainers themselves. The Riverside centre offers placement positions for school based trainees to study and obtain a certificate in sports coaching. The qualification gives participating students an opportunity to boost their horse and coaching knowledge, opening doors both at university and in the equestrian industry. The centre needs assistance to continue this important service in the face of changes to the training requirements, and, together with local member Dr Christian Rowan, we are working to ensure their voice is heard on this issue. Our local families are lucky to have passionate people like Mr and Mrs White and all the staff and volunteers at the Riverside Equestrian Centre on our doorstep. Thank you, Liz and Andrew, for all your service to our community.